A person with a mental incapacity may be unable to make certain important decisions about their financial matters. They may be unable to manage their money, or their legal or business affairs.

An administration order is where SACAT authorises another person to make those decisions and manage those financial matters.

An administrator has no authority to make lifestyle, accommodation and medical treatment decisions for the person - that is the role of a guardian.

Types of administration orders

An administration order does not remove a person’s assets or finances from them - SACAT merely appoints someone else to manage the person’s affairs.

SACAT will not make an administration order unless satisfied the person:

  • has a mental incapacity and
  • there is a need for an order to be made.

There are two types of administration order.

A full administration order gives the administrator the authority to manage and make decisions about all of the protected person’s estate and financial affairs.

A full order will only be made by SACAT if a limited order is not appropriate.

There are limits on the decisions that can be made by administrators without seeking specific approval from SACAT.

If a person with mental incapacity is coping reasonably well with decision-making in most aspects of their financial affairs (like managing their income and household bills) but needs some assistance in certain areas (such as management of their business, property and/or shares) then a limited administration order can be made by SACAT.

The limitation will be specified in the order.

An administration order can be subject to other conditions or limitations, and can give power to the administrator to do things SACAT thinks are necessary to administer the estate.

How long is an administration order?

An administration order generally starts on the day SACAT makes the order.

It is ongoing until another order is made by SACAT.

It must be automatically reviewed at least every three years to see if the order should still be in place or if any changes are needed.

Sometimes, the protected person's circumstances change. The person who the administration order is about (and anyone else with an interest in their welfare) can apply to SACAT to have the order changed or cancelled at any time.

What does SACAT consider when making a administration order?

SACAT will weigh up evidence to decide if there is a need for an order and will consider:

  • what the person’s wishes would have been had they not become mentally incapacitated
  • what the person’s present wishes are - if these can be expressed
  • whether existing arrangements are adequate and should not be disturbed
  • what is least restrictive of the person’s rights and personal autonomy, that also ensures that the person is properly cared for and protected.